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Temporary vertebral artery occlusion after C3 fracture dislocation injury and spontaneous resolution following reduction and instrumented fusion: case report and literature review
  1. Kurt Yaeger1,
  2. Justin Mascitelli1,
  3. Christopher Kellner1,
  4. Zachary Hickman2,
  5. J Mocco1,
  6. Konstantinos Margetis1,2
  1. 1Department of Neurological Surgery, Cerebrovascular Center, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, New York, USA
  2. 2Department of Neurological Surgery, Elmhurst Hospital Trauma Center, Mount Sinai Medical System, New York, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Konstantinos Margetis, Department of Neurological Surgery, Section of Cerebrovascular Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, 1 Gustave Levy Pl, New York, NY, USA; Konstantinos.margetis{at}


Vertebral artery injuries as a result of blunt trauma can result in vertebrobasilar strokes. Typical treatment of such an injury includes early anticoagulation to prevent cerebral ischemic events due to vessel occlusion or embolism. We present a case of cervical fracture-dislocation injury and compression/occlusion of the right vertebral artery, which spontaneously resolved following surgical reduction and fusion. Postoperative cerebral angiography showed no evidence of vertebral artery stenosis, and systemic anticoagulation was discontinued. This case shows that vertebral artery occlusion can resolve spontaneously after fracture reduction, and cerebral angiography should play a role in assessing these complicated traumatic injuries.

  • Trauma
  • Angiography
  • Cervical

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  • Twitter Follow Christopher Kellner at @chriskellner

  • Contributors KY, JM, and KM conceived the paper. KY wrote the manuscript. All authors participated in the care of the patient as described in the case report. All authors contributed to refinement and final approval of the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.